The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror

Overview

Christmas crept into Pine Cove like a creeping Christmas thing: dragging garland, ribbon, and sleigh bells, oozing eggnog, reeking of pine, and threatening festive doom like a cold sore under the mistletoe.

'Twas the night (okay, more like the week) before Christmas, and all through the tiny community of Pine Cove, California, people are busy buying, wrapping, packing, and generally getting into the holiday spirit. It is the hap-hap-happiest time of the year, after all.

But not ...

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Overview

Christmas crept into Pine Cove like a creeping Christmas thing: dragging garland, ribbon, and sleigh bells, oozing eggnog, reeking of pine, and threatening festive doom like a cold sore under the mistletoe.

'Twas the night (okay, more like the week) before Christmas, and all through the tiny community of Pine Cove, California, people are busy buying, wrapping, packing, and generally getting into the holiday spirit. It is the hap-hap-happiest time of the year, after all.

But not everybody is feeling the joy. Little Joshua Barker is in desperate need of a holiday miracle. No, he's not on his deathbed; no, his dog hasn't run away from home. But Josh is sure that he saw Santa take a shovel to the head, and now the seven-year-old has only one prayer: Please, Santa, come back from the dead.

But hold on! There's an angel waiting in the wings. (Wings, get it?) It's none other than the Archangel Raziel come to Earth seeking a small child with a wish that needs granting. Unfortunately, our angel's not sporting the brightest halo in the bunch, and before you can say "Kris Kringle," he's botched his sacred mission and sent the residents of Pine Cove headlong into Christmas chaos, culminating in the most hilarious and horrifying holiday party the town has ever seen.

Only Christopher Moore, the man who brought you the outrageous lost gospel Lamb and the hysterical fish tale Fluke could have devised a new holiday classic that tugs at the heartstrings and serves up a healthy slice of fruitcake to boot.

Move over, Charles Dickens—it's Christopher Moore time.

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Editorial Reviews

Janet Maslin
While this book is not Mr. Moore's best or wildest, it is buoyant enough to look like his big, overdue breakout. Chalk that up to the confluence of fruit bat, Warrior Babe, handcuffs and merrily warped holiday spirit. And his earlier work has reached critical mass, to the point at which Mr. Moore is clearly the unhinged Hiaasen. He's "Daily Show"-funny and willing to subvert anything, even the "pile of dead Kringle" that sets this fractured fairy tale in motion.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Hilarity abounds in Moore's latest satirical gem. Sleepy Pine Cove, Calif., is abuzz with Christmas spirit, but Lena Marquez is fed up with her despicable ex-husband, Dale Pearson. On his way home from playing Santa Claus at the local lodge, Dale spies sneaky Lena uprooting his Monterey pines; he pulls a gun on her, she lashes out with a shovel and-oops!-kills him. Seven-year-old Josh Barker, thinking he's just seen the murder of Santa, prays for a miracle to save Christmas. To Lena's rescue comes Tucker Case, a slimy, reformed Casanova and DEA pilot, who gives her an alibi and sweeps her off her feet. The marijuana-cultivating town constable, Theo Crowe, suspects foul play, but Tucker intervenes with a blackmail scheme to keep the crime buried. Meanwhile, there's a new arrival in town: the glowingly blond Archangel Raziel (last seen in Lamb) has come "dirtside" on a "miracle mission" involving Josh's wish and reviving the town's dearly departed. Pine Cove's biggest challenge surfaces as comically reanimated zombies begin to rise and feast on the living, and a huge El Ni o-induced storm swirls. This little slice of perverse Christmas cheer is enough to make even the most cynical Scrooge guffaw. Agent, Nicholas Ellison. (Oct.) Forecast: Moore's reputation for quality satire and the book's compact size should make hand-selling this as easy as pie. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Rocky Mountain News
“You’ll laugh your head off. Grade: A.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060896447
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/27/2007
  • Series: Pine Cove Series , #3
  • Edition description: Large Print
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Moore

Christopher Moore is the author of twelve previous novels: Practical Demonkeeping, Coyote Blue, Bloodsucking Fiends, Island of the Sequined Love Nun, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, Lamb, Fluke, The Stupidest Angel, A Dirty Job, You Suck, Fool, and Bite Me. He lives in San Francisco, California.

Tony Roberts is a familiar face from his appearances in numerous Woody Allen and other films, and his starring roles on Broadway in Arsenic and Old Lace, Promises, Promises, The Allergist's Wife, and Xanadu.

Biography

A 100-year-old ex-seminarian and a demon set off together on a psychotic road trip...

Christ's wisecracking childhood pal is brought back from the dead to chronicle the Messiah's "missing years"...

A mild-mannered thrift shop owner takes a job harvesting souls for the Grim Reaper...

Whence come these wonderfully weird scenarios? From the fertile imagination of Christopher Moore, a cheerfully demented writer whose absurdist fiction has earned him comparisons to master satirists like Kurt Vonnegut, Terry Pratchett, and Douglas Adams.

Ever since his ingenious debut, 1992's Practical Demonkeeping, Moore has attracted an avid cult following. But, over the years, as his stories have become more multi-dimensional and his characters more morally complex, his fan base has expanded to include legions of enthusiastic general readers and appreciative critics.

Asked where his colorful characters come from, Moore points to his checkered job resume. Before becoming a writer, he worked at various times as a grocery clerk, an insurance broker, a waiter, a roofer, a photographer, and a DJ -- experiences he has mined for a veritable rogue's gallery of unforgettable fictional creations. Moreover, to the delight of hardcore fans, characters from one novel often resurface in another. For example, the lovesick teen vampires introduced in 1995's Bloodsucking Fiends are revived (literally) for the 2007 sequel You Suck -- which also incorporates plot points from 2006's A Dirty Job.

For a writer of satirical fantasy, Moore is a surprisingly scrupulous researcher. In pursuit of realistic details to ground his fiction, he has been known to immerse himself in marine biology, death rituals, Biblical scholarship, and Goth culture. He has been dubbed "the thinking man's Dave Barry" by none other than The Onion, a publication with a particular appreciation of smart humor.

As for story ideas, Moore elaborates on his website: "Usually [they come] from something I read. It could be a single sentence in a magazine article that kicks off a whole book. Ideas are cheap and easy. Telling a good story once you get an idea is hard." Perhaps. But, to judge from his continued presence on the bestseller lists, Chris Moore appears to have mastered the art.

Good To Know

In researching his wild tales, Moore has done everything from taking excursions to the South Pacific to diving with whales. So what is left for the author to tackle? He says he'd like to try riding an elephant.

One of the most memorably weird moments in Moore's body of work is no fictional invention. The scene in Bloodsucking Fiendswhere the late-night crew of a grocery store bowls with frozen turkeys is based on Moore's own experiences bowling with frozen turkeys while working the late shift at a grocery store.

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    1. Hometown:
      Hawaii and San Francisco, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 5, 1958
    2. Place of Birth:
      Toledo, Ohio

Read an Excerpt

The Stupidest Angel

A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror, Version 2.0
By Christopher Moore

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Christopher Moore
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060842350

Chapter One

Christmas Creeps

Christmas crept into Pine Cove like a creeping Christmas thing: dragging garland, ribbon, and sleigh bells, oozing eggnog, reeking of pine, and threatening festive doom like a cold sore under the mistletoe.

Pine Cove, her pseudo-Tudor architecture all tarted up in holiday quaintage -- twinkle lights in all the trees along Cypress Street, fake snow blown into the corner of every shop's windows, miniature Santas and giant candles hovering illuminated beneath every streetlight-- opened to the droves of tourists from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the Central Valley searching for a truly meaningful moment of Christmas commerce. Pine Cove, sleepy California coastal village -- a toy town, really, with more art galleries than gas stations, more wine-tasting rooms than hardware stores -- lay there, as inviting as a drunken prom queen, as Christmas loomed, only five days away. Christmas was coming, and with Christmas this year, would come the Child. Both were vast and irresistible, and miraculous. Pine Cove was expecting only one of the two.

Which is not to say that the locals didn't get into the Christmas spirit. The two weeks before and after Christmas provided a welcome wave of cash into the town's coffers, tourist-starved since summer. Every waitress dusted off her Santa hat and clip-on reindeer antlers and checked to make sure that there were four good pens in her apron. Hotel clerks steeled themselves for the rage of last-minute overbookings, while housekeepers switched from their normal putrid baby-powder air fresheners to a more festive putrid pine and cinnamon. Down at the Pine Cove Boutique they put a "Holiday Special" sign on the hideous reindeer sweater and marked it up for the tenth consecutive year. The Elks,Moose, Masons, and VFWs, who were basically the same bunch of drunk old guys, planned furiously for their annual Christmas parade down Cypress Street, the theme of which this year would be Patriotism in the Bed of a Pickup (mainly because that had been the theme of their Fourth of July parade and everyone still had the decorations). Many Pine Covers even volunteered to man the Salvation Army kettles down in front of the post office and the Thrifty-Mart in two-hour shifts, sixteen hours a day. Dressed in their red suits and fake beards, they rang their bells like they were going for dog-spit gold at the Pavlov Olympics.

"Give up the cash, you cheap son of a bitch," said Lena Marquez, who was working the kettle that Monday, five days before Christmas. Lena was following Dale Pearson, Pine Cove's evil developer, through the parking lot, ringing the bejeezus out of him as he headed for his truck. On his way into the Thrifty-Mart, he'd nodded to her and said, "Catch you on the way out," but when he emerged eight minutes later, carrying a sack of groceries and a bag of ice, he blew by her kettle like she was using it to render tallow from building inspectors' butts and he needed to escape the stench.

"It's not like you can't afford a couple of bucks for the less fortunate."

She rang her bell especially hard right by his ear and he spun around, swinging the bag of ice at her about hip level.

Lena jumped back. She was thirty-eight, lean, darkskinned, with the delicate neck and finely set jawline of a flamenco dancer; her long black hair was coiled into two Princess Leia cinnabuns on either side of her Santa hat. "You can't take a swing at Santa! That's wrong in so many ways that I don't have time to enumerate them."

"You mean to count them," Dale said, the soft winter sunlight glinting off a new set of veneers he'd just had installed on his front teeth. He was fifty-two, almost completely bald, and had strong carpenter's shoulders that were still wide and square, despite the beer gut hanging below.

"I mean it's wrong -- you're wrong -- and you're cheap," and with that Lena put the bell next to his ear again and shook it like a red-suited terrier shaking the life out of a screaming brass rat.

Dale cringed at the sound and swung the ten-pound bag of ice in a great underhanded arc that caught Lena in the solar plexus and sent her backpedaling across the parking lot, gasping for breath. That's when the ladies at BULGES called the cops -- well, cop.

Bulges was a women's fitness center located just above the parking lot of the Thrifty-Mart, and from their treadmills and stair-climbing machines, the BULGES members could watch the ins and outs of the local market without feeling as if they were actively spying. So what had started as a moment of sheer glee and a mild adrenaline surge for the six of them who were watching as Lena chased Dale through the parking lot, turned quickly to shock as the evil developer thwacked the Latin Santa-ette in the breadbasket with a satchel of minicubes. Five of the six merely missed a step or gasped, but Georgia Bauman -- who had her treadmill cranked up to eight miles per hour at that very moment, because she was trying to lose fifteen pounds by Christmas and fit into a red-sequined sheath cocktail dress her husband had bought for her in a fit of sexual idealism -- bowled backward off her treadmill and landed in a colorful spandex tangle of yoga students who had been practicing on the mats behind her.

"Ow, my ass chakra!"

"That's you're root chakra."

"Feels like my ass."

"Did you see that? He nearly knocked her off her feet. Poor thing."

"Should we see if she's all right?"

"Someone should call Theo."

The exercisers opened their cell phones in unison, like the Jets flicking switchblades as they gaily danced into a West Side Story gang-fight to the death.

Continues...


Excerpted from The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore Copyright © 2005 by Christopher Moore. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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First Chapter

Stupidest Angel (v2.0), The Chapter One Christmas Creeps

Christmas crept into Pine Cove like a creeping Christmas thing: dragging garland, ribbon, and sleigh bells, oozing eggnog, reeking of pine, and threatening festive doom like a cold sore under the mistletoe.

Pine Cove, her pseudo-Tudor architecture all tarted up in holiday quaintage -- twinkle lights in all the trees along Cypress Street, fake snow blown into the corner of every shop's windows, miniature Santas and giant candles hovering illuminated beneath every streetlight-- opened to the droves of tourists from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the Central Valley searching for a truly meaningful moment of Christmas commerce. Pine Cove, sleepy California coastal village -- a toy town, really, with more art galleries than gas stations, more wine-tasting rooms than hardware stores -- lay there, as inviting as a drunken prom queen, as Christmas loomed, only five days away. Christmas was coming, and with Christmas this year, would come the Child. Both were vast and irresistible, and miraculous. Pine Cove was expecting only one of the two.

Which is not to say that the locals didn't get into the Christmas spirit. The two weeks before and after Christmas provided a welcome wave of cash into the town's coffers, tourist-starved since summer. Every waitress dusted off her Santa hat and clip-on reindeer antlers and checked to make sure that there were four good pens in her apron. Hotel clerks steeled themselves for the rage of last-minute overbookings, while housekeepers switched from their normal putrid baby-powder air fresheners to a more festive putrid pine and cinnamon. Down at the Pine Cove Boutique they put a "Holiday Special" sign on the hideous reindeer sweater and marked it up for the tenth consecutive year. The Elks,Moose, Masons, and VFWs, who were basically the same bunch of drunk old guys, planned furiously for their annual Christmas parade down Cypress Street, the theme of which this year would be Patriotism in the Bed of a Pickup (mainly because that had been the theme of their Fourth of July parade and everyone still had the decorations). Many Pine Covers even volunteered to man the Salvation Army kettles down in front of the post office and the Thrifty-Mart in two-hour shifts, sixteen hours a day. Dressed in their red suits and fake beards, they rang their bells like they were going for dog-spit gold at the Pavlov Olympics.

"Give up the cash, you cheap son of a bitch," said Lena Marquez, who was working the kettle that Monday, five days before Christmas. Lena was following Dale Pearson, Pine Cove's evil developer, through the parking lot, ringing the bejeezus out of him as he headed for his truck. On his way into the Thrifty-Mart, he'd nodded to her and said, "Catch you on the way out," but when he emerged eight minutes later, carrying a sack of groceries and a bag of ice, he blew by her kettle like she was using it to render tallow from building inspectors' butts and he needed to escape the stench.

"It's not like you can't afford a couple of bucks for the less fortunate."

She rang her bell especially hard right by his ear and he spun around, swinging the bag of ice at her about hip level.

Lena jumped back. She was thirty-eight, lean, darkskinned, with the delicate neck and finely set jawline of a flamenco dancer; her long black hair was coiled into two Princess Leia cinnabuns on either side of her Santa hat. "You can't take a swing at Santa! That's wrong in so many ways that I don't have time to enumerate them."

"You mean to count them," Dale said, the soft winter sunlight glinting off a new set of veneers he'd just had installed on his front teeth. He was fifty-two, almost completely bald, and had strong carpenter's shoulders that were still wide and square, despite the beer gut hanging below.

"I mean it's wrong -- you're wrong -- and you're cheap," and with that Lena put the bell next to his ear again and shook it like a red-suited terrier shaking the life out of a screaming brass rat.

Dale cringed at the sound and swung the ten-pound bag of ice in a great underhanded arc that caught Lena in the solar plexus and sent her backpedaling across the parking lot, gasping for breath. That's when the ladies at BULGES called the cops -- well, cop.

BULGES was a women's fitness center located just above the parking lot of the Thrifty-Mart, and from their treadmills and stair-climbing machines, the BULGES members could watch the ins and outs of the local market without feeling as if they were actively spying. So what had started as a moment of sheer glee and a mild adrenaline surge for the six of them who were watching as Lena chased Dale through the parking lot, turned quickly to shock as the evil developer thwacked the Latin Santa-ette in the breadbasket with a satchel of minicubes. Five of the six merely missed a step or gasped, but Georgia Bauman -- who had her treadmill cranked up to eight miles per hour at that very moment, because she was trying to lose fifteen pounds by Christmas and fit into a red-sequined sheath cocktail dress her husband had bought for her in a fit of sexual idealism -- bowled backward off her treadmill and landed in a colorful spandex tangle of yoga students who had been practicing on the mats behind her.

"Ow, my ass chakra!"

"That's you're root chakra."

"Feels like my ass."

"Did you see that? He nearly knocked her off her feet. Poor thing."

"Should we see if she's all right?"

"Someone should call Theo."

The exercisers opened their cell phones in unison, like the Jets flicking switchblades as they gaily danced into a West Side Story gang-fight to the death ...

Stupidest Angel (v2.0), The. Copyright © by Christopher Moore. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 3, 2012

    Hilarious!

    This was my first encounter with Christopher Moore's genius writings. I had borrowed the book from the library, and quickly realized that this was an author who could make me cry from laughing so hard. The Stupidest Angel follows the quirky citizens of Pine Cove, as they prepare for Christmas, and the angel Raziel, who comes to answer the prayer of a little boy (with disastrous, side-splittingly hilarious results). Anyone who loves satire will devour this easy read, and end up as I did: A die-hard Moore fan!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Be Careful What You Wish For!

    Audio: This was one fun mess. Some of the lines were hysterical. The story is about a little town in California and the crazy folk who live there one horrifying Christmas. It's hard to describe it without giving away the plot. You have Tuck, the pilot who is drug spotting for the DEA, Theo, the pot smoking constable, Molly, the retired warrior princess, and Gabe, the behavioral scientist trying to figure out why men keep coming back to the women who hurt them.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2007

    Funniest book ever!!

    My husband and I were looking for a good book on tape to take with us on our first road trip. The title of this one caught my eye. Boy am I glad we selected this book, it was halarious!!! My husband and I enjoyed it thoroughly, we've listened to it three more times in two months. It defenelty is not for youngsters nor people who don't have a sense of humor. Aside from being funny the book also has a very good message to take with you. Great book!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2006

    Never read a Christmas story like it.

    The plot is extremely twisted and quite sick at times. The beginning started out as quite a humorous read, but by the end, I was beginning to tire of Moore's sarcasm and writing style. For those readers who love a completely whacky tale, this book is probably worth the read. For those who don't find sarcasm and sick humour funny, don't bother.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2005

    Very funny!

    This was the first book of Christopher Moore's that I have read and now I can't wait to read them all! If you like David Sedaris you'll love Christopher Moore!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2005

    Escape at its finest

    This book is well worth buying. No, it won't make you smarter or advance your career but it will make you laugh until your sides hurt which is cheaper than a therapist.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2005

    Another LOL novel

    As usual, this book made me laugh out loud. This book is a quick and easy read, that like Moore's other books, makes you forget about whatever is wrong and just makes you laugh. Thanks for the fun!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2005

    Not this author's greatest work

    Moore's comedic writing style that teters on the edge of sci-fi is not represented as well as it usually is in this, his 8th book. On the level of Practical Demonkeeping, Moore throws out many different situation and somehow finds a way to wrap them all up at the end...just not as cleanly as done in some of his other novels. Although diehard fans will immediately appreciate his humor, first time readers may find that this is the last book by Moore that they ever read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2005

    an avid audio and visual reader

    I read this book through the holidays on my lunch hour by cd and reading it at the same time. My co-workers would just stare at me when I would continuously laugh out loud. this is one of the best comedies that have read. Readers looking for serious reads beware!!! Dare to enjoy the humor and the satire of Mr. Moore.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2005

    Not his Best Stuff

    As a big Chris Moore fan, I was eagerly awaiting his Christmas tale. Maybe I was hoping for too much. Maybe he had to whip it together to quickly. Whatever reason, it felt a little forced. Love the characters, but the story was definitely not his best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2004

    Less Than Expected

    In his defense, the author does warn at the beginning of the book that it contains profanity and sexual references. However, much of it seemed forced. Without the ever-present swear or sexual reference, the story would have been really funny. The 'Christmas miracle' was a perfect twist. The ending made the book worthwhile after all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2004

    Time out for Christmas

    This book is a laugh out loud enjoyment. It definitly was good medicine. I enjoyed the weirdness. I found it to be an amusing break from my self imposed hustle and bustle of Christmas madness.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2004

    Thin, Thin, Thin

    I'd heard Christopher Moore exclaimed by former colleagues as a wicked and witty satirist, but my first experience with his work, 'The Stupidest Angel,' is not encouraging. This book is a deranged and angry, targetless rant - I think Moore is lashing out at hokey Christmas commercialism and the phony feelings of joy and brotherhood people easily allow it to engender, but it's hard to tell. And when the zombies come into this...well, that's about it. I wonder if Moore himself wasn't replaced with a brain-eating grave-riser in the process of writing this flop.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2004

    Christmas Terror and Holiday Delight!

    Christopher Moore has fun yet again with another one of his wacky books, this is a great read! Not as good as Lamb, but still funny yet poignant at the same time!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2004

    LOVED IT!

    This book was fantastic, and I would have given it five stars if I hadn't kept getting distracted by the 'name-dropping' from Moore's other books. This story doesn't need it, it stands on its own quite well. I actually did not know what the plot was until the middle of the book, but I was hooked by the first page. I've recommended it to all my friends and am giving it out as Christmas presents to those who don't buy it. The humor is so dry at times, and so subtle... I can almost hear the ironic voice in my head. I can't wait to get this book on CD!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2004

    Christmas Cheer or Terror either way...

    It's a Christmas story you won't forget. If you're a Christopher Moore fan, you've gotten the Christmas present you wanted. The Author Guy delivers once again. If you haven't read any of Moore's books, treat yourself to some holiday laughs. The Stupidest Angel brings together several of the charactors from his previous books and the results is a tale of a Christmas Party you'll want to experience. Who else, but the Auther Guy, can take an angel, a bat that wears sunglasses, a crazy warrior babe and a zombie Santa and weave a story that will keep you laughing long after the book's been read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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